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We're in the final stretch in our campaign for healthcare reform including a public option.
The good news is we're winning.
I know that sometimes it is hard to tell. After all August was a brutal month filled with right-wing fear mongering and misinformation. Whether led by Glenn Beck, FOX news or Rep. Joe Wilson, too many Americans were told to disrupt Town Halls rather than participate in them. And of course the media covered every moment of it.
Don't take my word for it. Numerous budget scholars and experts on Senate procedure have staked their reputations on it. Stan Collender, a contributing editor at the National Journal, contributing writer for Roll Call, and author of "The Guide to the Federal Budget" is an expert on the subject. Here's how he's [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]:
"Reconciliation, which was part of the Congressional Budget Act when it was adopted in 1974, wasn't used until the start of the Reagan administration. Although it hasn't been used every year since then, reconciliation has become such a regular part of the budget process that it's now generally considered a staple. It has been used by Republican- and Democratic-controlled Congresses alike for both spending and revenues.
The most important and obviously controversial part is that reconciliation bills can't be filibustered because the debate is limited by law."
"The House-passed version of the 2010 budget resolution allows health care reform to be included in a reconciliation bill and, therefore, adopted in the Senate with 51 votes..."
"First, contrary to what some have been saying, reconciliation has become such a standard part of the budget process that using it for health care would be neither surprising nor precedent-setting. When they were in the majority, Republicans insisted that reconciliation was allowed by Senate rules and used it in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Back then, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who has been one of the biggest opponents of using reconciliation this year, made what in retrospect is an almost infamous floor speech about the appropriateness and legality of using reconciliation.
Second, health care reform will have a substantial impact on federal finances and so can't be said to be unrelated to the budget, which is one of the critical criteria for using reconciliation. In fact, given that at least two of the largest mandatory federal spending programs — Medicare and Medicaid — are health care programs, health care reform and reconciliation would seem to be a perfect fit."
I shall quench my thirst with the blood of my enemies!